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San Diego Personal Injury Law Blog

San Diego authorities investigating fatal traffic crash

Personal motor vehicles are an integral part of everyday life in San Diego. They have become so ingrained in modern society that residents of this city can sometimes forget that cars and trucks are dangerous machines. One moment of distraction or inattention behind the wheel can easily lead to a life-altering traffic accident. These collisions can be especially serious when they involve pedestrians.  

The Chula Vista Police Department is in the process of investigating a fatal pedestrian accident. The deceased pedestrian had been walking down E Street when he was struck by a car. The authorities are requesting the public’s assistance in piecing together the events leading up to the crash.

Are there birth injury risks with forceps deliveries?

Even after a healthy pregnancy, difficulties can arise during the labor and delivery process for mothers in California, and elsewhere. In some cases, a health care professional may need to use tools, such as forceps, to help get the baby out. While such tools can be very helpful and decrease the need for a Cesarean section, the use of forceps during deliveries can also pose birth injury risks.

Essentially, forceps look similar to two large spoons. Forceps deliveries are often needed in cases when mothers are too tired to continue pushing on their own, have a medical issue that makes pushing risky, or if the baby needs assistance coming through the final portion of the birth canal. Additionally, forceps may be used in situations when the infant is showing signs of distress and needs to come out faster than the mother can push herself.

California city has worst rates for dog attacks on postal workers

As postal workers are tasked with delivering mail throughout neighborhoods, it makes sense that they are at a much higher risk for dog bites. Any statistics or information on these attacks, then, may shed significant insight into the issue of dog attacks in general. At the Nield Law Group, we have assisted many San Diego residents seek compensation after suffering dog bites. As we have seen the damage such attacks can bring, we encourage any information that may help to reduce these incidents.

The United States Postal Service released a listing of the rates of dog attacks on postal workers in the country. Three California cities are included in this list. Los Angeles, with 69 attacks in fiscal year 2012, was the worst.

When should I file a wrongful death lawsuit in California?

If you have lost a loved one and believe the death was the result of negligence, you may want to explore the option of filing a lawsuit in California. According to the state statute, any of the following people may file a wrongful death claim:

  •        Immediate family members including parents and children
  •        A surviving spouse or domestic partner
  •        Stepchildren
  •        Any minor who resided in the decedent’s home for at least 180 days prior to the death and was dependent on the decedent

Such a claim can arise from a variety of incidents ranging from car accidents to medical malpractice. While you certainly want to take the time to grieve, you should be aware that under California law, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim seeking damages for your loved one’s death. However, if you are planning on suing a government agency, the suit must be filed within six months.

The role alcohol plays in fatal boating accidents

According to a report from The Legal Examiner, alcohol plays a role in 49 percent of all fatal boating accidents in California. The California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways reports that there were 531 incidents in 2013 that caused 38 fatalities. While deaths on the water seem to be declining, it is important to note that many are preventable.

The United States Coast Guard states that more than half of all boating accidents involve alcohol, such as a drunk driver. The effects of alcohol, the Coast Guard explains, are often exacerbated while on water. The wind, sun exposure and motion of the boat can cause someone to feel and behave more inebriated than they may be. Further, the Coast Guard states that boat operators who have blood alcohol concentration of 0.10 or higher are actually 10 times more likely to be involved in a fatal boating accident.

Group: San Diego should consider safety of pedestrians, bikers

Encouraging people to seek alternative methods of transportation is a good idea for a number of reasons. It has been proven to decrease pollution, increase health and lower transit costs. Unfortunately, biking or walking to work in San Diego is not without the risk of a pedestrian accident. As the city considers the Climate Action Plan, activist groups are asking leadership to take into account the safety of people on foot.

Currently, about 1 percent of commuters pedal into work in San Diego. As part of the Climate Action Plan, which has not yet been fully enacted but has a basic framework, there should be roughly 6 percent of people riding their bikes to work by the year 2020. Already, the city has taken some steps to encourage cycling, such as adding a bike lane along some roads and installing bike rental stations.

What are the long-term effects of dog bites?

When most people in San Diego think about dogs, they envision fun-loving companions or service animals. However, dogs can, and often do, attack. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that 4.5 million people in the U.S. suffer dog bites each year. Of those dog attack victims, 20 percent need medical attention to treat their injuries. While, for some, the wounds may eventually heal, people may experience a range of long-term effects as a result of dog bite injuries.

It is common for people who have been attacked by dogs to suffer puncture wounds, cuts, scrapes, tears and other physical trauma. Depending on the severity of these injuries, people may suffer disfigurement or scarring. Beyond experiencing damage to their physical appearances, dog attack victims may sustain partial or full paralysis, suffer from mobility issues or require amputation.

How to avoid San Diego pedestrian accidents

Particularly in high tourism areas, such as near theme parks and the beaches, pedestrians commonly share San Diego roads with motorists. Unfortunately, recklessness, distraction and negligence often lead to pedestrian accidents. In 2012, 76,000 people across the U.S. were injured in pedestrian accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At Nield Law Group, APC, we often consult with people who have been injured as a result of such collisions. While much of the responsibility lies with drivers, there are things that pedestrians can do to help avoid being involved in accidents with motor vehicles.

Bicycle project stirs controversy in San Diego

Bicycling is an avid sport as well as means of transportation for many people in San Diego County. Residents can enjoy riding bikes for a relaxing weekend stroll along the coast highway or commuting to work during the week virtually year-round thanks to the temperate climate. The dangers that bicyclists face due to cars and other vehicles, however, are equally present every day. Fatal bicycle accidents are sadly a reality in the area.

An effort is currently being considered that by SANDAG that would create an interconnected series of bike lanes in the city. It would flow through multiple communities in the city such as Hillcrest and extend into Mission Valley and even downtown San Diego. The goal of the proposed project is to encourage more people to ride their bikes in the city and to increase the safety of cycling in San Diego.

Understanding cerebral palsy as a birth injury

San Diego parents who await the birth of their children with joy and anticipation have much to look forward to. Sadly, for some parents, the realities of what lie ahead can be very different than the original expectations. Birth injuries can change the course of babies’ and parents’ lives forever. Cerebral palsy is one condition that can result from a birth injury. indicates that up to 20 percent of people with cerebral palsy contracted it due to an injury sustained during birth.

Cerebral palsy may not be evident upon birth even if the associated brain damage took place at that time. Many children are not able to be diagnosed until two or three years of age. Up to 50 percent of cerebral palsy sufferers can exhibit symptoms of mental retardation and seizure disorders. also notes that fine motor skills, gross motor skills, balance, posture and speech may all be negatively impacted.